After days (weeks (months)) of rumors and speculation, today the Chicago Cubs finally pulled the trigger on a Ryan Dempster trade. He goes to the Atlanta Braves, according to’s beat writer for the Braves, Mark Bowman. There were multiple reports moments ago that the deal was close, and it looks like it’s happening.

Bowman suggests that Randall Delgado could be part of the return, but he isn’t sure yet. Obviously, that would be an insane return as I’ll explain later, if it actually comes to fruition.

I’ll be updating this post obsessively as we learn more.

UPDATE 1: David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution acknowledges that the deal is happening, and says the Braves believe they’ve got a shot to sign Dempster to an extension, given his history with Fredi Gonzalez and Frank Wren back with the Marlins.

UPDATE 2: While I have a moment, I’ll say I’d be pleasantly shocked if this is a straight up Dempster (and cash) for Delgado deal. At 22, Delgado is already an average-ish pitcher in the bigs, and, coming into the season was the 41st ranked prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America had him at 46. Even if his stock has fallen a bit this year, that would be an absolute coup.

UPDATE 3: Ken Rosenthal joins the chorus saying it’s a done deal. Still no word on financial details or total package.

UPDATE 4: Dave Kaplan offers the first confirmation from the local guys. He adds that he hears the Cubs made a “great deal” to get young pitching. He’s working on finding out the “names.”

UPDATE 5: For what it’s worth on Delgado – again, we don’t know yet whether he’s included – Kevin Goldstein says he would no longer have Delgado in his top 50 prospects (and not just due to graduation to the bigs). He still thinks Delgado would be a heck of a return for Dempster, though.

UPDATE 6: Keith Law reports that the deal DOES INCLUDE RANDALL DELGADO and money going to the Braves, but he adds “if the deal is completed.”

UPDATE 7: Kevin Goldstein confirms that Delgado is in the deal, and that Cubs fans should be thrilled. Oh, we are, Kevin. We are (squeeeeeeeaaaal).

UPDATE 8: Goldstein adds that Delgado’s ceiling is as a number three, but keep a few things in mind: he’s considered a somewhat “safe” three, as in, he’s modestly likely to reach that ceiling. Also, a “three” doesn’t necessarily mean the third best pitcher on an average team. It’s some kind of scouting thing, and many guys who are the second best pitcher on their teams are considered a “three.”

UPDATE 9: I’m going to save further thoughts on Delgado, specifically, for a separate post once various pundits have weighed in – I’d say you can already tell my gut reaction, though (did I mention SQUEAL!?!?). Something else great about this deal: the high return on Dempster theoretically makes the high asking price on guys like Garza and Maholm even more reasonable. That’s a very good thing. Further, the Braves weren’t rumored to be in on either Garza or Maholm, so the Cubs didn’t hurt their market. So far, there’s, like, nothing but awesomeness about this deal.

UPDATE 10: Kaplan, who earlier confirmed the deal, now says it is NOT a done deal. A source tells him only that “talks are ongoing.” Hopefully it’s just a matter of crossing some t’s. Goldstein adds that he now also hears the deal is not finalized, but guesses it’s just a formality. Keep in mind, if there’s a bunch of money coming from the Cubs, there usually has to be approval from the Commissioner’s Office. That can take time.

UPDATE 11: Dempster’s official Twitter says the following: “THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!” If this trade falls through, it will be the worst mis-report in the history of trades. Keep in mind, that account usually only tweets Dempster Family Foundation stuff, and is not really Dempster, himself.

UPDATE 12: Kaplan suggests the hold-up is the Ryan Dempster approval. Kap doesn’t say it isn’t forthcoming, but says it hasn’t been given yet. Makes you wonder whether Dempster is holding out for an extension from Braves.

UPDATE 13: If you saw that Joe Sheehan tweet and crapped your pants, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, it was a joke. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good. It was a terrifying 30 seconds.

UPDATE 14: Dempster has arrived at the Cubs’ clubhouse in Pittsburgh, so I’m sure he’s about to be deluged with questions. And he’ll probably say very little.

UPDATE 15: No surprise, Dempster declines to talk to the media, only joking that, “if it’s on the Internet, it must be true.” Clearly the deal has been agreed upon, but is pending either Commissioner approval or Dempster approval (or both). Dempster could be trying to leverage an extension here, which could partly explain the Cubs’ great (theoretical) return.

UPDATE 16 (seriously, 16 updates? Never a good sign): Phil Rogers agrees with my take, figuring that the reporting has simply gotten out in front of the formalities. The leak obviously came from the Atlanta side.

UPDATE 17: Kap has spoken with Delgado’s agent, who – predictably – says they’ve heard nothing about a deal. Unfortunately, Delgado would have been the last to hear, and would have heard directly from the team, but that’s not how the modern era of reporting works.

UPDATE 18: With the game looming, we might not hear anything more on this until tonight or tomorrow. Which, I know, is exactly what you don’t want to hear.

UPDATE 19: Bob Nightengale says Dempster is, indeed, the hold-up, and everyone is just waiting on him to give his approval. It could be that he’s trying to get an extension from the Braves first, or it could be that, literally, word of the trade leaked before the Cubs had a chance to confirm with Dempster (having previously talked to him, and learned that he’d be “open” to a trade to the Braves). Also, random, but Len Kasper has tweeted a goodbye of sorts to Dempster, but it was two hours ago, and that might as well be from March.

UPDATE 20: Dale Sveum told the media that he spoke with the front office, and they said no deal was ever in place, and it’s not just a matter of getting Dempster’s sign-off. Maybe that’s true, but the front office obviously has a reason to say that – if the deal isn’t done, they don’t want to screw it up, or maybe they wouldn’t hate another team jumping in at the last minute.

UPDATE 21: On the Braves’ side, manager Fredi Gonzalez says he knows what we know (“well, a little bit more”), and that we’re in a “holding pattern.” To me, that sounds like a Dempster approval issue, but who knows at this point.

UPDATE 22: I keep hoping each update will be the last. This might be worthless if things don’t take a positive turn, but Bob Nightengale says there are two players coming to the Cubs if the deal gets done.

UPDATE 23: Ken Rosenthal hears that the issue isn’t Dempster wanting an extension, but instead is Atlanta insisting on one, and Dempster not really wanting to execute one. I’m not sure I buy that theory, if only because the leak of the deal came from Atlanta’s side. If they weren’t sure Dempster was going to agree to an extension that they required, why would they leak a completed deal? To put pressure on Dempster to sign the extension? Why would that work? I hope it’s not a situation where the Cubs have agreed to two deals with the Braves: (1) if Dempster signs extension, the Cubs get Delgado; (2) if Dempster doesn’t sign extension, Cubs get lesser prospect(s).

UPDATE 24: David O’Brien reports on things from the Atlanta side, expressing the surprise of some sources that a deal hadn’t been announced yet. They don’t seem to know what the holdup was, as the Atlanta media – if not the Braves, themselves – assumed Dempster would gladly approve a deal to the Braves. And Rosenthal adds that he’s got a source telling him the Braves are still confident a deal gets done.

UPDATE 25: This is the update where things descend into madness. Jon Heyman reports that, now, the trade is only 50/50 to be completed. Funny thing: the source saying it’s 5o/50 doesn’t know what the holdup is. So, somehow he knows it’s only 50/50 now, but doesn’t know why?

UPDATE 26: Bruce Levine reports that, as we’ve pretty much known for a while now, the deal has been agreed to by the Cubs and Braves, but the teams are just waiting for sign-off from Dempster.

UPDATE 27: Phil Rogers doesn’t agree with Jon Heyman’s 50/50 prognosis, and instead still thinks the deal gets done. Phil takes a stab at what happened: the Braves jumped the gun on letting the news out, believing that the Cubs already had Dempster’s thumb’s up on the deal (which, if true, could have been the Braves’ fault for misunderstanding, or the Cubs’ fault for mis-communicating). Dempster was blindsided by all of this, and was pretty pissed off. Thus, Dale defends his player (and the Cubs) by saying things like the story was “fabricated.” Hopefully that’s all true, and hopefully the Cubs can smooth things over with Dempster. I would certainly understand being pissed, but I couldn’t understand letting this torpedo the deal.

UPDATE 28: Kevin Goldstein cites a source who says there’s a 24-hour moratorium on deals involving players with 10/5 rights (I guess on the belief that you don’t want teams pressuring a guy on the spot – this way, he’s guaranteed to get 24 hours to think about it), so, if the deal is presented to Dempster for approval after the game (or, I guess, before or during the game), we might not hear a formal announcement until tomorrow night. Bet you can’t wait for that! (I bet we will have heard long before that, though.)

  • cubmig

    This is the website. Didn’t have luck with link highlight. Type it in if you want to read info. Sorry.

    • calicubsfan007

      @cubmig: IT WORKED!!! (=

    • calicubsfan007


  • cubmig

    sh** IT WORKED!!!! LOL!

  • JB88

    Goldstein saying hold up might be about money, but he doesn’t have confirmation on that yet.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I swear to god if Selig vetos this because of money being given for a better player i will be so pissed off I wont be able to explain

    • rhino70

      They probably have strict instructions not to wake Bud up from his afternoon nap!

  • Cubs Dude

    Amazing deal Thed! This makes up for the crap weekend in St. Louis!!

  • @cubsfantroy

    Demp just said on Twitter that there is no deal. Is he working us too?

  • Spencer

    Ryan Dempster just tweeted there’s no trade.

  • Jim

    Tweet from the Dempster Foundation says that there is no trade and don’t know where the info is coming from … Huh?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’m not goin to lie if Demp uses his 10-5 rights bc he doesnt want to live in Atlanta then I will be extremely upset with him

      • hardtop

        not me. have you ever been to hotlanta? armpit.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          hardtop: haha agreed. I wouldnt want to live there either. but if he vetos and screws deal, i will be mad. love demp but i love top prospect more now

          • hardtop

            meh, if his ceiling is a number 3 and the chances that he reaches his ceiling are 50-50, im not too upset. i honestly think the cubs can do better. lets see what they get next week when desperation sets in.

            • bbmoney

              I really don’t think they could do much better for ~11 starts from Dempster…who really is a #3 starter just having a career year.

  • hansman1982

    un-oh Dempster just tweeted there is no deal…

    • calicubsfan007

      @hansman: NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • rbreeze

    Amazing trade if it holds up! For those worried that Delgado is just a 2 or a 3. Was Dempster ever anymore than a 2? He was probably a 3 most years. Delgado is 22 years old with a ton of potential to be as good or better than Dempster. Great deal!!!
    Now go and get some more fresh blood Theo and Jed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hansman1982

    Well, that was a fun warmup to when something actually happens. I now haz a sad.

  • gocatsgo2003

    This is fun.

    • Jack Weiland

      CORRECTION: This used to be fun, until the deal was off.

      Now this is horrible.

      • gocatsgo2003

        I enjoy the back and forth, the reports and misreports, and the general machinations of dealmaking in the MLB. I’m fully confident that some kind of deal will get done somewehre for Dempster, but enjoy the ride just as much as the result.

        • Jack Weiland

          Right, me too. And then when the result is awesome, I enjoy that. And then when that awesome result is cruelly snatched away, I weep.

          For days. Making things no longer fun and now horrible.

  • oswego chris

    I hate to say it…but the deal sounds too good to be true to me

    • Jack Weiland

      I was thinking it, didn’t want to say it.

      Thanks for jinxing it, jerk.

  • rbreeze

    Don’t they have to file paperwork with the league, etc before it becomes official? Maybe Bud Selig and the league offices are closed due to a hangover after the HOF weekend celebrations?

  • WNebCub

    This is a conspiracy against the Theo / Jed regime!

  • MB allbearsbullscubs

    This just justifies how tough is to be a cubs fan…One minute ur up and then brought back down to earth..

  • DaveS

    there is a link on the offical Cubs website that says he was traded.

    • calicubsfan007

      @DaveS: Really?

  • someday…2015?

    Wow talk about a let down if this deal doesn’t happen.

  • oswego chris

    I see no reason why the Braves do this….I hope i am wrong….

  • MB allbearsbullscubs

    They probably have to add another player to even out the cash that we are sending them

  • HawkClone

    You’re killin me smalls

  • Turn Two

    Great deal “when” it goes through. Now lets somehow find a way to get Castellanos and Turner- trade Maholm for some decent young pitchers and get the future started.

  • cubs217

    I have a hard time believing would report the trade if it was not official, I bet the information on that site is monitored very closely by someone in the FO

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’m sure the Theo/Jed could care less right now about wat Carrie Muskat writes right now during trade talks

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Does anyone think Dempster Vetoed the trade bc he didnt want to live in Atlanta. He has 10-5 rights, I’d be pissed if he did

    • Cyranojoe

      No, this sounds like the best deal the Cubs could have made, and as long as Demp’s not a hypocrite, which I don’t think he is, he will NOT torpedo the deal. At most, I see it as negotiation on his part to get a sweet extension, which I would not begrudge him for. That said, why would he want an extension in ATL? 😛 Come back to Chi-town with a ring on your finger, Ryan, and we’ll roll out the damn red carpet for you, man…

  • Cerambam

    just saw a comment by a braves fan saying “whats the big deal he is 4-5 this year and only has 11 complete games in 309 starts!!!”—- lolz

  • Dave

    Kap now saying the hold up is that Dempster has yet to approve the trade.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      If Dempster doesnt approve this trade i will be extremely angered by him!! This is business over being a fan of him now!!

    • someday…2015?

      O.O From Dempsters tweet it doesnt sound like he wants to go to Atlanta. PLEASE LET ME BE WRONG!

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Dempster if you dont accept this trade I dont want you back next year. U will get nixed as one of my favorite cubs. This is business

  • Cerambam

    “Why all the hype ? Dempster is 117-120 lifetime with a 4.31 ERA 30-30 the last 3 years. And he is 5-4 this year. He has 11 CGs in 309 starts !!!!!!!”

    speicifically haha

  • AD

    Report on Twitter now says that Braves have vacated from the deal.

  • Toby

    Nick Shepkowski is saying that Braves have vacated the Dempster trade.

    • Cyranojoe

      Tell me Shepowski is not reliable… please…

      • Toby

        I meant to say Joe Sheehan. Shepkowski just retweeted it.

        • Cyranojoe

          Ah. So, uh, Sheehan maybe sucks? I hope?

      • calicubsfan007

        Cyranojoe: Never even heard of that guy before this. Don’t worry about what he says.

        • Jack Weiland

          Sheehan used to work for BP. He’s incredibly smart and what he says matters.

          However in this instance, his tweet was taken out of context. He’s been debating the Penn State penalties all day, and thus saying the trade was “vacated” was a continution of that conversation.

          Twitter is a conversation. If you’re not going to give proper context please don’t report snippets of said conversation.

  • pfk

    This story has prints of competitive media people trying to get the jump (and kudos from their boss) without confirmation. Even those who said they can now “confirm” the trade have backtracked to cover their a**. In my mind, the Dempster Tweet really is saying there is no deal and probably won’t be one that includes Delgado. With Ben Sheets coming on so strongly, the need for Dempster isn’t what it was a week ago. So, I can’t see Delgado in any deal. The Braves just don’t operate that way. But….

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Joe Sheehan ‏@joe_sheehan
    The #Braves have vacated the Dempster trade.